Europe Markets

Europe close higher as oil prices dip; OPEC deal in the balance

European stocks closed higher Tuesday as investors focused on talks between OPEC members and political uncertainty ahead of a key referendum in Italy.

OPEC deal in the balance

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended Tuesday up 0.25 percent with all the major bourses, apart from the FTSE100, showing gains. Basic resources stocks, down 1.47 percent, were the worst performers with a slide in metal prices.

Banking stocks were up by more than 0.6 percent following news that the European Central Bank stands ready to increase its purchase of Italian government bonds to control any market turbulence following Sunday's referendum.

Shares of oil and gas firms fell almost 1 percent as OPEC producers prepared for a crucial meeting on Wednesday where they aim to agree on a production cut. On Monday, OPEC technical teams reportedly failed to agree on any details for the proposed cuts and on Tuesday Russian officials decided not to attend the OPEC meeting, according to a new agency.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average was trading fractionally higher after a mixed start to the trading day for U.S. equities.

Elsewhere, the president of the Eurogroup told European lawmakers they must be strict with Britain in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, the Financial Times reported. Jeroen Dijsselbloem added that the City of London cannot retain its full access to the EU market if it doesn't comply with all European rules.

Actelion shares fall

In corporate news, Vodafone shares dropped more than 0.5 percent, but Sky and BT were up following news that British regulator Ofcom is proceeding with a formal notification to legally separate Openreach from BT.

Shares of the German carrier Lufthansa returned to positive territory after falling lower in early morning trade on reports that the courts didn't approve its bid to block further strikes.

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